TH.N.A.R.W.H.A.L.S. Offers Volunteer Opportunity

By Gabrielle Abesamis

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TH.NARWHALS sponsor Tom Jodelka instructs members on which plants to cut down in the praire. PHOTO by Milana Pehar

Biology teacher Thomas Jodelka and his TH.N.A.R.W.H.A.L.S. environmentalist club (THrough Natural Areas Restoration We Help All Living Species) are scheduled to host an Environmental Service Day on three sites along the North Branch of the Chicago River on Saturday, Oct. 8 .

According to Jodelka, 60 – 75 people are needed to make the event successful. Volunteers should be at Niles North High School at 8:30 a.m. for registration and will also be served a continental breakfast. Transportation to the sites will be provided by bus.

“Volunteer to make a positive impact in the community.  [People] should volunteer to learn about the environments that exists in Illinois and learn about the problems that they face, but how groups of dedicated people can, and are, making a difference and restoring these environments to their former health and stability,” says Jodelka

TH.N.A.R.W.H.A.L.S. member and junior Viktoria Tomic agrees.

“It’s a really good opportunity to help out the environment and preserve our forests and prairies while meeting some pretty cool people and learning more about the environment in Illinois,” says Tomic.

Two different activities based on their interests and abilities will be offered. Collecting native prairie plant seeds to be added to mixes that are then distributed to environments all along the North Branch is suggested for those who are interested in light physical activity .  Brush-cutting, which involves cutting non-native plants such as buckthorn and honeysuckle (plants that have threatened to out-compete native plants) is suggested for those who are interested in moderate physical activity.

Equipment such as gloves and saws will be provided. Long pants and sturdy shoes are required, but long sleeves, an extra change of clothes, and water bottles and snacks are advised. Anyone under high school age needs to be accompanied by an adult.

TH.N.A.R.W.H.A.L.S. meet Tuesdays after school in room 2420 from 3:30 – 4:45.